Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost = the Birthday of The Church, But Where Is The Guest of Honor?

“...God is concerned about the spiritual, physical, and social dimensions of our being. The whole gospel is truly good news for the poor, and it is the foundation for a social revolution that has the power to change the world. And if this was Jesus’ mission, it is also the mission of all who claim to follow Him. It is my mission, it is your mission, and it is the mission of the Church.”  (Excerpt from Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, World Vision CEO)

“We have shrunk Jesus to the size where He can save our soul but now don’t believe He can change the world.” ---Anonymous

Pentecost = the Birthday of The Church, but Where Is The Guest of Honor?
Acts 1:6-8; Isaiah 61

What is the Good News?
  • The arrival of the Kingdom and rule of God 

  • It has been inaugurated by the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and empowerment of the Church via Jesus Christ Himself

Genesis-Malachi ~ Story Overview (God’s Partnership with Humanity)
  • God goes first. No one is called to God.
  • God establishes partnership 
  • God endorses partnership
  • Sin emerges and interrupts the partnership, dulls senses, creates a “self-help” consciousness
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Jacob
  • Moses
  • Tabernacle
  • Judges and Kings
  • David’s Family Lineage
  • Major & Minor Prophets
  • 400 years of silence
  • Messiah
  • Holy Spirit
  • Church
  • We have become God’s chosen and betrothed people.

Will we...are we self-indulgent repeat the same sins as Israel?
Greatest Strength of the Church: It’s Mission; it’s God; it’s Power; It’s Witness

Greatest Weakness of the Church: It’s comfort; Its self-absorption & self-reliance; its fairytale understanding of Scripture; Its oblivion to its mission.

It’s taken millennia to move from Eden to Calvary; from Sinai to Pentecost in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. In 2000 years we have moved from cutting edge world-changers to egocentric money-changers who are addicted to status quo! #Geeisms

I must repent to the people of God:
  • I talk more clearly about the call to membership than I do discipleship
  • The Church is God’s vehicle for training, empowering and releasing His solution; The Church is not the Solution...Christ and His message are!


  • Jackie Hunt:
  • Jacquesha Hunt:
  • Kaleem Caire:
  • Kim Barovich:
  • Autumn Swain
  • Terry Crawford
  • Gloria Zeller
  • Antony Ward
  • Michael Johnson:
  • Door Creek Church: Boomerangs
  • Andy Anderson and Chris Rudolph
  • Grace Episcopal Church:
  • Renee Daniels: 
  • Roxanne & Team:
  • Brian & Tracey & Team:
  • Alexandra Gee-Lewis:
  • Lexi Gee
  • Terryence & Kira:
  • Xians in Thailand who did make-up and hair for prostitutes
  • Countless others

Building this church is a test!
  • This is a test of our faith!!
  • This is a test to help us know what we are capable of doing via Christ’s power.

  • Pray walks
  • Cookouts for neighbors 
  • Meals to elderly
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Hospice concerts
  • Emergency shelter for homeless families and women escaping domestic violence
  • Detonating the self-loathing soul-bomb that exploding and imploding with our marginalized youth and teaching them their beauty and worth.

  • Pimps know how to find the weak and defenseless and make profit from them
  • Gang leaders know how to spot loneliness and talent and make profit from them
  • Drug dealers know how to find the afflicted and easily addicted and make profit from them

  • Liquor stores know how to spot hurting neighborhoods and make profit from them and Where is the Church?

  • Prisons and corrupt systems know how to find 3 grade boys who can’t read....

  • What do we see when we look outside?
    • Something or someone to avoid?
    • Something to redeem?
    • Someone who needs hope?

Why the gardens? Why the SMCCC? Why the extra classrooms?

Because the King has come and he’s about the liberate the prisoners and they need somewhere to go and something to do after their release?

It’s the birthday of the Church and we need to grow up and act our age and not our show size! 

Come to the party! Invite others! No one wants to party alone...especially God.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Compelling God in Goshen (Series: Go!)

Pastor Ford’s phone calls to me during inclement weather “carry-on” and how that felt to me. God is calling us to carry on...not in His stead...but with him.

Premise: God’s call to GO! is really a call to Him.
  • God is calling the Church to join Him in changing the world (High Calling)

  • If the people of God merely go to church without becoming the Church and functioning like the has no power (ability to accomplish a task), authority (the right to exercise the power to accomplish the task) or purpose (true reason for being via acting out of one’s intended design.)

Much of what we call Church today isn’t recognized as Church by Christ!

  • What God offers the true followers of Christ is power. When it isn’t use to liberate and support others it becomes manipulation and control. (Manipulation is when you power serves yourself and/or suppresses others when it within your power to free others.)...Enemy loves victimization because it keeps us drunk & needy. (2 vests)

  • What God offers the church is authority. When it is not used to speak against evil systems and evil deeds, it becomes apathy. (Apathy is when you look the other way when it is within your power to do something to positively change the outcome.).....the needy are mere heart check-ups for the church!!!

  • What God offers the church is purpose. When it isn’t used to further the dreams of God, it becomes perversion. (Perversion is when something isn’t used for it’s intended & productive design and it become harmful and distracting.) Partners

Jesus Appears in John 20:19:
●Walked-thru doors ●Peace! ●Showed hands ●Peace 2x ●Sends them ●Breathes 
☞ “Don’t Hold To Me!”

Goshen (GO!): Laying the Theological Framework of Going with God (Adieu)

(God speaks of Goshen:)Exodus 8:22-23 "'But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23 I will make a distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow.'" (NIV)

Goshen Background:

  • Inhabited by Hebrews after Joseph resettled family there
  • N.E. Nile Delta area ~ good place for grazing animals. A working community for those who build storage cities: Rameses and Pithom
  • Rameses II, the most strategic and military might in the world was thwarted by the faith of women.
    • Moses’ mom; the 2 midwives (Shiphrah and Puah); pharaoh’s daughter (foster mom) 

  • Was Goshen a staging place when God needed to change people’s mind so that they could embrace their covenantal relationship with God & change the world.
    • One God
    • “God sees and cares for us.”
    • God is really with us and remembers the Covenant!

  • Israel left Egypt from here when they entered the wilderness. When times got hard...they wanted to return to here!!!

  • We can’t get trapped in *Goshen. (Why are churches...and the world...are dying.?)
  • God claimed that he would make a *difference between Israel and Egypt.
  • Goshen is not merely *geographical...Neither is Canaan!
The difference is to let Pharaoh know that God is in the Lord or better translated:
“I am YAHWEH in the midst of the land!” James Buckner

Goshen was the wrong safe house! Only GOing with God is a safe house

  • We have to leave familiar miracles in order to experience God’s fresh ones. We can’t keep returning to the site of the miracle. We have to pursue God’s miraculous purpose in the world.

  • Jesus met them in a familiar place (Galilee) to send them to a very unfamiliar place (World).

  • Christ came that the Glory of God might be revealed
    • We are called to Go! & share that Glory~ carry it.

Why did first century church grow? 

●Compelling community ●Outreach to the world’s outcast ●Sharing God’s reality everywhere they traveled●They served & healed the world’s pain...

The people who wanted to return to Egypt ignored their responsibility to live in a way that produced the Messiah in the world.

Challenge/Next Steps/Application

Our faith will be measured by our “Go!”


With the Exodus...God didn’t merely hear their cry. He heard and remembered His covenant. (*God’s promise wasn’t merely to end was to end slavery in order to fulfill the Covenant with Abraham)

  • God didn’t save us for ourselves ~ but for something better...Partnership!!

  • When we make Salvation that personal, we’ve idolized and trinketized God’s gift

  • God designed you with Himself and the lost in mind. You are a chosen vessel

 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel [urge & constrain] them to come in, so that my house will be full. ” Luke 14.22-23

Are you compelling witness?